The Human Relationship with Nature: Development and Culture

Paperback
Kahn's empirical and theoretical findings draw on current work in psychology, biology, environmental behavior, education, policy, and moral development. Urgent environmental problems call for vigorous research and theory on how humans develop a relationship with nature. In a series of original research projects, Peter Kahn answers this call. For the past eight years, Kahn has studied children, young adults, and parents in diverse geographical locations, ranging from an economically impoverished black community in Houston to a remote village in the Brazilian Amazon. In these studies Kahn seeks answers to the following questions: How do people value nature, and how do they reason morally about environmental degradation? Do children have a deep connection to the natural world that gets severed by modern society? Or do such connections emerge, if at all, later in life, with increased cognitive and moral maturity? How does culture affect environmental commitments and sensibilities? Are there universal features in the human relationship with nature? Kahn's empirical and theoretical findings draw on current work in psychology, biology, environmental behavior, education, policy, and moral development. This scholarly yet accessible book will be of value to practitioners in the social science and environmental fields, as well as to informed generalists interested in environmental issues and children.